Benefits of Internet Surfing for the Elderly

Elderly need lessons on internet surfing as it plays vital role in fighting memory loss and dementia Internet for the Elderly London Bridge Hospital and Adblock Plus (a company who block and filter advertisements on the internet), have come together in calling for more education for the elderly, particularly when it comes to safe use of the internet and social media. This has all come about after an 8 year study of 50-90year olds, has proven that individuals who went online more often, experienced less mental decline comparted to those who do not use the internet. In particular, there was a significant improvement in delayed recall over time for people who went online more often. A consultant psychiatrist from London Bridge Hospital, Dr Tom Stevens, has emphasised how people over the age of 65 should remember the phrase ‘use it or lose it’, as the internet is a good way to ensure that older people are able to use their mental faculties. He went on to talk of how the internet has opened up some great opportunities for older people by providing a means of communication and convenience. Regardless of any physically inhibiting disabilities that someone may have, this will not hold them back on the internet. The Head of Operations at Adblock Plus, Ben Williams, stressed that everyone still needs to be informed about choices available online. For someone with no or little experience of going online, it could be very easy to be put off by pop-up advertisements, banners and other adverts which can often be tasteless, misleading and confusing. Many online scams specifically target older users such as phishing scams, promotions and low cost insurance etc. We must ensure that older people are aware of these and basic lessons on how to stay safe on the internet would be a good way of ensuring this. “Everyone in society – those both young and old – should be able to use the internet to stay in touch with others, for instance by sharing photos on social media with more distant family, and catching up with old friends. Any communication, whether it be face-to-face or digital, enables people to feel connected, and basic digital skills give people this opportunity.”